In NewTools, actors in the Norwegian food system work together to achieve more sustainable food production and consumption. NewTools will provide new knowledge about the nutrition, climate and environmental impact of our food.
The right to food is a human right.
Enough, safe and healthy food is a key part of the UN's sustainability goals. Food systems are important drivers of climate and environmental challenges, such as extreme weather, eutrophication, deforestation, soil degradation, fossil fuel use and reduced biodiversity. Both production systems and eating habits must therefore be changed. NewTools will contribute to a more sustainable food system by developing food indicators to be used in two new scoring systems: one that provides scores for nutritional quality and one for sustainability. The project will be based on existing labelling schemes for food. Labelling schemes will eventually become mandatory for food and drink in the EU / EEA, but the solutions have not been fully developed, and we will ensure that conditions that are important in the Norwegian context are taken care of.
The goal of NewTools is to define scoring systems that are accurate and can be used as a guideline for product and policy development, purchasing schemes, etc., in addition to being a useful tool for consumers. NewTools will place emphasis on embracing Norwegian production conditions and food culture, but at the same time strive for a flexible result that can be used by other countries too. In order to define such indicators and aggregate scores, the various actors that are part of the food system must work together. NIPH leads NewTools, but collaborates with six other research institutions and representatives of the entire value chain from farm and fjord to fork. Together we will establish a platform for sharing data, methods and knowledge that can be used in the development of key indicators for food and the environment.
The NewTools project aims to facilitate transformation of the Norwegian food system by involving stakeholders representing all key parts of the food chain and providing tools for development and communication supporting the actual transdisciplinary workflow. It is a collaborative project aiming at 1) creating an efficient platform for sharing data, methods and knowledge; 2) collaborate to develop key indicators to be used as tools for transformating the food system. Main indicators will be summary scores for foods, one for nutritional value and one for sustainability, which can be used in a number of ways besides food labelling, guiding consumers to choose healthy and sustainable foods. Along with the indicators, the processes of working with and applying the scores can function as new tools e.g. for new food product development, improvement of existing products, public food procurement and political decisions. The project will build on, and facilitate the establishment of, a common understanding among a range of actors involved in desirable food system transformations, enabling processes of the type “farm to fork to farm”. It will provide reliable data and use quality-assured methodology to create a solid and lasting foundation for transformation work. An immediate application is as part of the Norwegian response to EU’s Farm to fork (F2F) initiative. F2F proposals include a food labelling framework that covers the nutritional, environmental and social aspects of food products. Constituting a consortium with broad representation, including research institutions, governmental agencies, production-, processing- and distribution actors, consumer representatives such as the Norwegian Consumer Council, retailers, labelling experts and NGOs, the knowledge created and shared will contribute to the tools needed for significant transformations towards a more resilient and sustainable food system.